A much feared and highly sneaky summer cold has descended on my house. Just when the humidity lifted and the weather turned perfect, just at the height of prime camping-playing-frolicking time, it got us. Both me and our daughter have been taken hostage. (So far, my husband has been spared. ... So far.) We are the coughing, sneezing, aching, tissue hoarding duo. We both look like hell and sound worse. Unfortunately, the symptomatic similarities end there.
While I am barely able to drag myself out of bed and onto the couch most mornings, our daughter literally bounds out of bed. Tissue in one hand, juice in the other, she is ready to face the germ infested day at full volume and extra intensity. A small thing like a viral infection won’t hold her down! She is 3! She has things to do! In fact, she will show this virus who is in charge. She will bounce and squeal it out of her system. She will twirl and sing until it falls right out.
I would rather quietly succumb to my exhaustion and sleep it off. Quietly. In the dark. Alone.
I would do anything to be able to call in sick. I daydream while laying on the couch of the days when a fever would be met with jammies and a phone call to cancel my obligations. The world would stop, I would rest. My husband would bring me chicken soup and DVDs. He would draw the curtains and restock my tissues. He would tuck me in and then, he would let me rest. The dog would curl up at my feet and together we would do nothing. Absolutely nothing.
My daydream is interrupted by my pint sized stylist sneezing into my hair and wiping her nose on my shirt. She is my world now and there is no chance of her standing still. So, I pull myself together and play with her. I ignore my pounding headache and sing songs and dance and tell stories.
There are no phone calls to my boss, cancelling my day. My current boss is half-naked, running around me in circles only pausing to complete her coughing fit. I tried to tell her that I was sick. She replied with, "I sick, too! We have same germs. We sharing!"
At least I have her empathy?
We finally left the house after five days of quarantine. She took every opportunity to tell folks all about our ailments. "We sick! Mommy and I have germs!" Generally people reacted by laughing or smiling. However, if the pharmacy sells out of surgical masks, you now know why.
We have survived. Thanks to an outstanding husband, about 3 tons of small child approved snacks, and far too many shows on Netflix. All that lingers are a few sniffles and one particularly nasty cough that the little one is convinced to be caused by Batman germs in her body. Like I said, far too many shows.
Some things have stayed the same. I still have someone restocking my tissues. Just now half are used and the other half are being used as bedding for dolls. I still have soup. My daughter happily made me soup in her little wooden kitchen and proudly served it to me while rubbing my head and saying, "This make you better, mommy." I still get to watch movies. Now they have musical numbers and I don’t have to concentrate so hard to follow the storyline. And there are still jammies. Even on non-sick days, there are jammies.
And now I have someone to make me laugh and pass me the half used tissues.
Michelle Stephens writes from her tiny house that she shares with the loves of her life. Her only reference for time is the seasons and the growth of her child. She wanders with a purpose and day dreams frequently. Her writing can be found on her parent-oriented blog: www.JuiceboxConfession.com, her personal musings: www.MichelleElizabeth.wordpress.com, and on her writer’s collective: www.LiteraryTraces.com. Her photos can also be seen on www.LuminousTraces.wordpress.com.